Eric de Nooij, a Paramedic for Calgary’s Emergency Medical Services, and wife of two years, Jessica, a Pediatric and Family Chiropractor, can’t wait to try out Eric’s handmade wooden paddleboards on Harmony Lake this season. They were crafted in Eric’s woodworking shop, made possible for the first time thanks to the detached triple garage of their brand new Harmony home, which they took possession of on January 31, 2018.
“There were so many reasons why moving to Harmony was a fit for us, but honestly, being able to build my shop in the third bay of our garage, put it over the top,”Eric smiles. “This combination of home, location, and community just couldn’t be found in the City.”
The quest began after the de Nooijs, then living in Tuscany, visited some friends who had recently moved to a lake community in Calgary.
“We got turned onto the idea of a lake community, but we wanted to stay in the northwest. Close to the mountains, but still close to that part of the City for our commute to work,”explains Jessica. “Within weeks of the visit, we heard about Harmony and loved the idea of it from the start.”
“The Discovery Center was a great way to get an idea of the “big picture plans” for the community, but also a great wayto explain the community to our family members,”explains Eric. “We brought both of our families, parents, siblings, and even extended family and friends!”
It took approximately one year from first discovering Harmony until they finally decided to purchase.
The couple built with Sterling Homes selecting the McKinley model in a Craftsman elevation from the Aspen Collection. The sales staff was very knowledgeable, easy to work with and was an experience they describe as “supportive every step of the way”and “without feeling pressured to buy.”
“We chose this model because we did not have to make any layout changes to make it perfect for us,”explains Jessica. “We decided on a long lot so between the house and the detached garage, it would give us a large backyard for Murphy.”
While the de Nooijs don’t have children (“yet”), they share their lives with Murphy, a loveable Bernese Mountain Dog, who is handful enough!
With an active lifestyle, the couple enjoys being near water, swimming, hanging out at the beach, and stand-up paddle boarding. As skiers, the proximity to the mountains makes day trips easy, and riding their Dutch cruiser bikes is even easier with Harmony’s trail system.
Beyond the layout of the homes, the location, and the amenities, like most “Harmonites,”the couple appreciated the idea of community. The sense of a close-knit community. Where one knows their neighbours.
“We tried to attend as many community events as we could prior to moving in. We felt invested in the community and always left feeling we had made the right decision to live in Harmony,”says Jessica.
Eric adds,“Jessica became a member of the residents’Facebook Group and that was also a great way to see what was going in the community prior to us taking possession.”
“One of the things we like about being ‘early-in’in a new community is having a say in how the community develops and having a front row seat as we see it grow,”they agree. Some of that growth is coming from their own friends and colleagues, several of whom are in various stages of building or moving in themselves.
As the weather warms and they settle into their new home and neighbourhood, what are some of the things they look forward to most?
“Relaxing together on the front porch in the evenings as the sun goes down and building a deck so we can have friends over for BBQs after a day at the lake,”muses Jessica. “That, andlaying down sod to keep Murphy out of the mud!”
But perhaps most of all, they say they are looking forward to the day when they can peddle those Dutch Cruisers over to the future Village Centre to enjoy a coffee, pick up some fresh baked goods, visit the farmers market or a few of the shops, and peddle back home.
Sounds pretty perfect!